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November 30th, 2007
MDIP and MEDAG to merge – Funding commitments made for the future

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PR – At a recent meeting held at Defra in London, MEDAG and MDIP sponsors were asked to :

 

  • Consider a proposal to merge the activities of the Marine Environmental Data Action Group (MEDAG) and the Marine Data Information Partnership (MDIP)
  • Consider and offer sponsorship funding to support proposals for activities for MEDAG and MDIP, which in addition to continuing present activities under MEDAG included the implementation of an operational marine data and information framework for the UK, based upon a network of marine Data Archiving Centres.

The full cost of building the framework is £4.3M over 5 years. Taking into account in-kind contributions, and adding the support necessary to continue MEDAG activities, sponsorship funding of £690k per year is required.

The proposed MEDAG and MDIP programmes can be downloaded from OceanNET (go to::
 
http://www.oceannet.org/medag/reports/medag_reports/MEDAG_five_year_plan.pdf
 
and
 
http://www.oceannet.org/mdip/documents/MDIP_PHASE2_Proposals_v1.5.pdf)
 
The MDIP and MEDAG coordinators noted that overall the management of UK Marine Data and Information remains fragmented, and that the level of funding being requested to develop an across sector framework remains a very small proportion of the overall cost of data gathering. Through the work to date in MDIP and MEDAG a good position has been reached, and a good co-operative way of working developed. They warned that if the marine community does not build on what we have, partners will have to invest a much higher level of internal effort to meet their data management requirements.
 
After discussion the sponsors unanimously agreed that MEDAG and MDIP should merge.  Defra confirmed its commitment and support for the implementation of a Data Archive Centre based network as proposed to provide the data management capability necessary to underpin the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment strategy. They were able to commit £250k per year for each of the next three years to support the proposed programme.
 
Similarly NERC was able to commit at least £110k per year over the same period. After the meeting BERR advised they had provisionally allocated a budget of £50k per year (subject to approval) Other sponsors are now considering what level of funding they will be able to offer.
 
MEDAG/MDIP are still looking to expand the partnership, across all sectors of the marine community and would be very happy to discuss how new partners could become involved. Please drop us an email, or phone (Dave Cotton  at dcott@oceannet.org, or 0151 795 4893)

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